tv 116th Congress Freshmen Profile Interviews Part 3 CSPAN January 1, 2019 12:36pm-1:06pm EST
or not this is getting support among rank-and-file members to the nine departments and several agencies that are experiencing partial government shutdown or whether or not this is a nonstarter for them and they want to amend the legislation in some way and to get back over to the house. >> a lot for all of us to watch for. coming up this week, we will have it all for you on the c-span networks. if somebody would like to read your article or folly you, how do they do that? jennifer: rollcall.com or my twitter handle. >> we appreciate your time. thank you very much. jennifer: thanks for having me. >> according to the brookings institution, the 116th congress is the most educated congress in history with 72% of the house having earned a graduate degree. c-span recently spoke with some of the new members. democrat chris pappas was elected to new hampshire's first congressional district. he is a restaurant owner and the first openly gay member of congress from new hampshire. >> i read that democrats have
been trying to recruit you to run for a long time. why did you say no before? why did you say yes this time? >> i care deeply about the state i grew up in and where i served at the statehouse for a number of years. id i needed to make sure that was meeting my responsibilities supportedters that me. it seemed like an important time to step up and he counted and put together the kind of restore we needed to faith in the institutions of our government and to get some things done. and while i may have heard before from folks that want me to run at a different point in time, this was the right time for me to do it. i did it at a time where people were running campaigns all across the country just like the one we were living in new hampshire about some of the issues critically important, like lowering the cost of health care, making sure the economy works for everyone, and ensuring the way democracy works so the power is in the hands of regular
folks. eager to get to work. >> what would you doing before you ran? rep. pappas: i was running a restaurant business in my family years, and it is difficult at this point in time to step back from that but i have capable family members who were helping to shepherd the business forward. i also served on new hampshire's executive council, a five-member board of directors that the governor has to run all of his or her decisions through in terms of appointment in state contracts so essential to have the state operates, a gave me a standpoint to see how federal flow into states and how our role in washington has implications to how state governments can run as well and will not lose sight of that year. >> you are 38 years old. this experience you had before coming to washington, how do you think it will impact you hear? rep. pappas: i think we all come with different sets of experiences. you would not want an incoming class or entire congress made up of people that are from the same
profession, from the same social economic or racial background. it is important that we have diversity. one of the wonderful things about this new class is it looks much more like the rest of america, and i think it will reinvigorate congress's ability to respond to issues out there. i look at the incoming class as really grounded in district all across the country in terms of the concerns people have, and we will work hard to give voice to those concerns and help put the focus on not divisive politics but how to achieve results. >> what is your reaction when you see headlines like democrat chris purpose goes to congress after a bitter district race? rep. pappas: actually, we did not have a bitter race. it was really positive. it was constructed. it was responding to the needs of the people of new hampshire. i had a really cordial contest with a republican and 10 other democrats in a primary that was decided on september 11.
i think it was a really positive process. the people of new hampshire and america deserve representatives in washington who are going to push the politics aside and focus on them. that is why we were sent here. >> your seat has been one that has bounced back and forth between the two parties. priorities toour appeal to both democrats and republicans in your district? rep. pappas: i represent a swing district. lots of incoming class represents districts that may not have always elected members of the party. so i think it is really critical for us out of the gate to so we can staffing up answer the constituent calls that will be coming in. as someone who ran a restaurant business, customer service is important to me so having a strong district operation that will respond to the needs of the people of new hampshire is critical. in terms of issues, we have to leverage more resources to fight the opioid crisis in new
hampshire and across the country. 52,000 individuals in america last year lost their lives to an overdose death. we need to make sure we continue to invest in treatment and recovery protection so we can keep on the right path and reduce the number of people losing their lives to this. the first bill out of the gate will be a democracy reform package is really exciting. we have to reform our campaign finance system, protect the right to vote, make sure we protect ethics in government, and restore people state in the institutions of the congress and federal government. beyond that, we have to respond to the needs of the people in terms of having a portable access to health care. i think critical concern regardless whether you are a democrat or republican. you paid a bill. you know it has been going up and up. >> another headline that is dominant about you is that you become new hampshire's first openly gay member of congress. is that a big deal? rep. pappas: i think it is
important that everyone has a seat at the table. and i think it is critically important as we consider pushing forward the equality act to make sure that there is no dissemination anywhere in this country -- discrimination anywhere in this country. it will be a priority of this house this year. in addition to that, i think it is just critical that everyone is represented and everyone has a seat at the table. i did not want to make history. ran to make a difference for the people of my home state but there is value sending the message that everyone is welcome in the public square and everyone has something to contribute to the process. i grew up questioning as a high school kid in my hometown, wondering if i could have a place within that community. now to be represented the people of the hinges first district in congress is a really amazing trajectory for me. and i think it shows the art of history how much progress we have made over the last few years to the extent my election since a positive signal, i think that is a healthy thing, and i
hope it shows everyone should be included. >> who has been your mentors in my? -- in life? rep. pappas: i have had so many. political mentors. mentors in my family. when you grow up in the restaurant business, you learn about the world around you to the experience, and i learned early on it is not about you, online, but how you look at people -- the bottom line, but how you look at people. the allowed me to transition to public service in an interesting way in new hampshire. that is what politics will be about it i. it has to be not about who is the loudest almost provocative person in the room but bridging the divide. see some wins on the board for working and middle-class people in my state and across the country, and that is our charge. armstrongcan kelley is the newly elected representative for north dakota's ou at large district. he is the attorney in an elegy
energy for executive. >> you ran as a trump republican. what does that mean? this president has spent more time in north dakota than the last five administrations combined. they care about issues important to us. oil and gas, agriculture, midwestern boom. dakota peoplerth are in charge of north dakota's destiny. >> what will you bring from that experience as state senato? rep. armstrong: first elected in 2012 and i share to committees -- chair two committees. before that time i was a little defense attorney for 10 years so a well-rounded problem-solving approach. really stressed making sure federal government stays in its own lane and allows for them to
allow states and the people of north dakota to move forward and continue to do what we do best. >> when did you decide you would run to the seat?who did you talk to about it ? rep. armstrong: i decided to run about a day after christmas kramer announced for the senate race and the first person i talked to and actually she talked to me was my wife. 48 hours later, we had an entire campaign up and running, so it was off to the races. >> what was that conversation like, that kind of journey you are going to take? rep. armstrong: i was serving as the state party chairman of the republican party so she gets to hear a lot. she is my closest confidant and best friend. this happened quickly and she was like, why don't you write? -- run? i spent a lot of time talking to someone for one hour and 45 minutes. not one thing of politics, but his son was right between my kids's age when he ran the first time.
i love the people of north dakota and am excited to serve but had to make sure we were ready to take this job together. >> what did he tell you? >> he said we can do it. it is great. make sure your kids and family are a priority. a wonderful experience for them to watch not only the things that get access to wi-lan washington, d.c., but to get a really good taste of public service at a young age. >> how do you make them a priority? rep. armstrong: bring them out. there are things they can do. daughter, i'm sure this summer will spend a lot of time in the office helping us stuff envelopes and will probably give the best tour of the capital, at least a nonprofessional tour. my wife is originally from oslo, norway. we had the benefit of traveling all over the world. she makes it a point to get back home once in a while and take the kids with them. they are used to being on
airplanes. when you are in north dakota and when you're used to traveling. it will be an exciting experience for them.my daughter is 11, and my son is 8. >> what do they say about you running? rep. armstrong: it has been great. we were lucky. we had a positive campaign. never ran a single negative ad through the whole thing. you are in the spotlight a little more. they were on stage with me at convention when we won it really excited. they have a fantastic. we spent thanksgiving weekend, 4 days, at universal studios and took a much-needed family vacation. >> what was the reaction when you won? rep. armstrong: really excited. they are moving forward. i cannot do this without their support. >> where are your priorities for the 116th congress? rep. armstrong: the first question is whether the farm bill will get done in a , and continueion
to allow federal regulation and allow states to regulate her own businesses. we will keep working with that. work on things in a bipartisan factor when it comes into play. peoples tell bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship is not always a good thing, but we want to build coalitions. there is a infrastructure package out there to get done. we just got to figure out a way to do it. people in my state and across the country want to see congress come together on issues they can come together on. we all know we will fight. it is a polarized environment have here, but there are issues we can agree on and should because it is good for the citizens of north dakota and the whole country. >> explain why the farmingville is important to your state. agricultureng: and energy in north dakota. agriculture has a direct relationship to every community in north dakota. it really truly is a way of life in our state. years ago we had the
worst drought in a generation. this year, trade issues. now more than ever, we need long-term stability and a farm those safety net in place for the people that go to the food for the country and the world. youxplain how much time plan to spend out here versus back home in north dakota and the logistics of getting back home. and also, where do you plan to live out here? rep. armstrong: we found a place close to the capital. one of the things supported to me is to make sure my wife has their own space. my wife is a great career and work off of a laptop and phone most of the time. i want my kids to be comfortable out here because i wanted to spend time. with just the way, you're used to it in north dakota. you have to leave earlier. i live in mountain time. i basically get home in 15 minutes. it might make for early mornings but i am a hunter and used to climbing into a tree stand pretty early. we will get back and forth as much as possible. you just have to.
if you forget who you work for for five minutes, you will have problems in d.c. and a lot more at home. >> a car right and playwright? -- plane ride? rep. armstrong: yes. hours. minneapolis, 2.5 minneapolis to bismarck, one hour. one hour and 20 minute drive home. >> democrat max rose, an afghanistan war veterans who are the purple heart and combat infantry badge, was elected to serve new york's 11th district. >> why did you decide to run? i decided to run really because i hear the frustration everywhere you go. democrats, republicans, they are not working together. there is this gridlock. our problems are staring us in our face. we feel like we are being lied to. i go back to the soldiers i served with thoughtful who have
multiple deployments -- serve with, folks who have multiple appointments. gotntacted the people who hurt in afghanistan. the only reason i was because of the armor underneath my vehicle. the only reason i had that armor is because congress got the job done in a bipartisan and quiet manner. care aboutt c-span or msnbc or fox, no disrespect to c-span. dynamicbig, bold, solutions and i want to be part of the story. it is possible. it is the best country of the world. rep. rose: when did you -- >> when did you serve? rep. rose: i still am in. in afghanistan over five years ago, 2012, 2013. i enlisted for the very same reason why i decided to do this. public service is in my blood , deep down in the corner of me. i can't explain it.
how i want to spend the rest of my life, serving others, trying to build an even better country. i can't wait. i feel blessed. you toor what inspired want to serve this country? rep. rose: if anyone tells you they have one singular interest, they are lying. the truth is i think about so many different things. i think about my parents, my mother, who is a community college professor. i think of the mentors i had like the late great brooklyn district attorney ken thompson, who we lost, who enacted incredibly bold justice reform initiatives. an honor to learn from him. i think about the soldiers i served with. whoink about all the people have really done things that show incredible courage and integrity.at one point, people said those things were not possible. let's continue to push the ball work, continue to try to do things that others say and how that can be done. i don't believe that.
>> replacing? have you received any advice for this job? rep. rose: certainly. i replacing dan donovan. i commend him for decades of service in staten island and south brooklyn. i have had the privilege to meet with him and after the election talk about what it is that my office can take the baton from theand make sure constituent affairs are handled correctly. i was most important. he was never my enemy in that race. i was never his. when i served in afghanistan, the telegram was miami. we have so many enemies -- the enemy. was my we have so many enemies. we need to stop thinking about the person across the aisle. >> democrat mike leavitt was elected to california's 49 district. an environment of attorney and party activists succeeds darrell issa, who retired after serving nine terms. >> what were you doing before
you ran for office? >> i was an environmental attorney for many years so involved in the clean energy industry in california, we have to a lot to advanced solar and wind and electric vehicles, battery storage, and really reduce our greenhouse gas footprint. i helped found the nonprofit for the industry in my home county of orange county, california. and work across the aisle to get things done in the clean energy policy space, including a renewable energy standard and now some very forward thinking renewable energy policies in california that i hope in some ways can become a national model. that is one of the things i've done. another is i used to run the democratic party in orange county so i was following all these other races perhaps more than a candidate should, but i was so overwhelmingly happy to see the success we had and some of my good friends in those other orange county districts and other california districts now as part of this new 116th
democratic majority. >> where does your interest in the environment come from? will, i think it started when i was an undergrad at stanford and a lot of the research going on with regards to climate change and the human impact of emissions, carbon emissions, on our air, water, and climate. when i got to law school at the university, they have a great environmental program, and i knew that is where a lot of my -- but i had to figure out how we could advance the clean energy industry in a place like orange county, which has historically been quite conservative. president obama, back when he was first elected, they passed the recovery act in the wake of a big recession and they needed new investment in things like clean energy. --ortunately, that led fortunately, that led to a life interest in orange county for solar and wind energy and a lost art of companies in clean
energy. i worked first as an attorney representing those companies and helped found the nonprofit and then went in-house to a couple of those rowan companies -- growing companies and got to dig into important policies and so proud of what we achieved in california and hope to bring some of that experience in washington. >> orange county is considered republican territory to many. has it changed over the years? rep. levin: absolutely. it is no longer republican territory. we now have seven members of the congressional delegation. all are democrats. that is truly remarkable when you consider it was not that long ago, as he said, it was considered consumerism. considered conservative. in my district, i'm so proud of hard, thet work so volunteers committed grassroots who knocked on every door and made every call, that is why we are here. we are here to do the people's work and really represent the
constituents of 49, and i'm just eager to get to work. >> you are replacing a republican who retired from that seat after serving nine terms. why did you decide now is the time to run for the seat? beenlevin: well, i had approached about this quite a while ago, back in 2013,, 2014, 2 2014, 2015. we have kids. we decided when they were so young it was not a time. after 2016, i worked really hard on secretary clinton's campaign. after the result, i was devastated and wanted to know how i can best make a difference. then we had the first women's march right after the inauguration. it would generate 21, 2017 -- it was january 21, 2017. my wife said we are all in.
if you don't have the support of your spouse if you are married or in a relationship deciding to run for congress, you better have the support of your spouse. when she said that to me, i knew that we were probably going to do it, and then we announced in march. and we were off to the races for the last two years.it has been an a surgery journey. thank you to those who helped along the way. they will now help us represent the constituents in our district well. >> besides your wife, who else did you hear from that convinced you, yes, i can run for the seat and win? i was very fortunate levinrep.: to have someone who represents 10 of us in southern california. and one of the people he represents who swung a red to bnlue district congress membership.
he was the first number of congress to endorse our campaign. it was his confidence that i think was really a shot in the volved in ourn campaign. that really led the way for colleagues to get on board behind our campaign, bring the momentum.one thing led to another, it's the wall snowballed,l -- it and we wound up winning the primary. that was really trial by fire. we went through that, and then we had a great general election as part of this big wave across the country. >> have you heard from the retiring congressman? rep. levin: yes. not only did i hear from him, but i met with him.he was very gracious. he called on election night , became apparent that we were going to win. he called and offered his help to transition. -his offer. i stopped by his office. kind of interesting.
they were moving out. but i think he and i both respect the importance of the office and the importance of maintaining consistency for the constituents, particularly those for whom we are doing casework, and we are working within the community to get local things done. we want to make sure we have a seamless transition. that will not end with just one meeting. to a goodward relationship and we differed on political issues but we both agree the institution of the house is incredibly important and the residents of the fortinet's district of california deserve a seamless transition. you?at advice does he give he pointed his beautiful view of the capital of that euros of you you were not going to have just yet. work ofed the important the casework, making sure we are always being mindful of the casework and constituent
services. he recommended for me to go and look for bills that have been abandoned by retiring members there nonetheless good ideas. we wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel but have to pick up some ideas and concepts and try to bring them to fruition. it was just an opportunity for us to get better acquainted after the small to us campaign. i'mspect his service grateful for the open door and i look forward to a dialogue in the future. >> how you balance your work and your family life? place one day at a time. i am thinking for technology like facetime and things like that. my commute will be every monday morning and every thursday i will have back west. i think the key for me is to be t when a home.
i want to make sunday's family i think it's very important i'm visible in the district in meeting with constituents on fridays and doing events on saturdays. i'm very hopeful that sunday can be family day and we have they are precocious and they understand what mommy and daddy embarked on i will miss him and my daughter and my wife very much throughout the week, but we are going to make it work. we understoodand the magnitude of that decision. work thathe important needs to be done for the residents are district and that is what we set out to do and that is ultimately a mutual
decision, and one i'm grateful to have the opportunity to pursue. >> what was your children's reaction when they found out that you won? >> my son and daughter were there for the victory speech. >> hopefully he understood that we were embarking on this for a purpose greater than themselves, to serve the people and serve interests larger than just for our own family, but for families along the highway everywhere. we will carry that forward as we mature and what issues to take
that their mom and dad serve a cause greater than themselves. -- >> will be your list later priorities? >> i'm sure you saw the climate assessment just came out on black friday. i guess dig deeper into the specific economic and environmental impact in the united states. it's very troubling. we basically have around a dozen years to put in place some very aggressive policies and we have to set the foundation now. that's going to require bold tonking and being willing stake claim to some pretty aggressive policies. we have done it in california, we have gotten bipartisan support. it didn't all happen overnight,
but we were able to move the and pass significant clean energy legislation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease emissions and i think we can do the same of the federal level if we figure out the right plan and the right tactics to get there in the right coalition, i'm very hopeful we can make it happen in the years to come. >> , new leaders, watch it all on c-span. >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news of policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, a look at the government shutdown in the 116th congress with rollcall.s and we talk about the 2020 provincial field with the university of virginia center of politics and